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Updated 23 July 2013

Teen self-consciousness is biological

Teenage self-consciousness is biological and just anticipating being watched can trigger emotional response, researchers say.

Many teens are concerned about what other kids think of them, and this self-consciousness is linked with specific body and brain responses that appear to begin and peak in adolescence, a new study has found.

"Our findings suggest that being watched and, to some extent, anticipating being watched were sufficient to elicit self-conscious emotional responses at each level of measurement," said lead researcher Leah Somerville.

The heightened activity between the medial prefrontal cortex and striatum seen in the study may help explain why teens often engage in risky behaviors when they're with other teens, the researchers said.

 
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